Thursday, July 25, 2013
The Names Sam and Josh (Howlers # 17 and 18)
One of his brothers was a real Yankee–Sam! Well done, Prophet Smith; you can’t get rid of your Jonathanisms. Sam indeed! Fie, Joseph, how you forget yourself. Can’t you forge better than this? Precious little of Yankee wit, have you in your composition, to let a Yankeeism creep into the ancient `Book of Nephi’ in this manner. . . . `Sam, Josh, and Gid.’ . . . .There’s Yankee for ye. Rather out of place, however, in ancient writings . . . . Sam, Josh, and Gid, are half names, or Jonathanisms.
Origen Bachelor, Mormonism Exposed, Internally and Externally (New York: 1838), 11, 14.
Here is a boy six hundred years before Christ who has the unmistakable Yankee nickname for Samuel. There is certainly nothing Hebraistic about this name, nor does it sound like any Egyptian name we ever heard.
M. T. Lamb, The Golden Bible (1887), 218.
This name Sam, by the way, sounds very modern.
Edgar E. Folk, The Mormon Monster, or the Story of Mormonism (New York: Fleming H. Revell, 1900), 186.
No Hebrew named his child "Sam" (v. 5). "Sam" is an American name, but not a Hebrew name.
Marvin Cowan, Mormon Claims Answered (1989), 39.
Both Sam and Josh are now known to be authentic Hebrew names attested in Hebrew inscriptions from before 587 B.C. only published in the last few decades. Both names are hypocoristic or abbreviated forms of Hebrew names which have dropped the theophoric element from the end (John Tvedtnes, John Gee and Matthew Roper, "Book of Mormon Names Attested in Ancient Hebrew Inscriptions," Journal of Book of Mormon Studies 9/1 2000: 49-51. For more information on the names Sam, Josh and other Book of Mormon names researchers will want to consult the Willes Center's Onomasticon Project.